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Editorial: Britain’s care home crisis

It has often been said that a society can be judged by how it treats its weakest members. How, then, are we to judge what are called the advanced Western democracies?

Family Allowances: A Socialist Analysis

This pamphlet should be read by everyone interested in post-war changes. It shows why family allowances will lower the workers’ standards of living instead of raising them. (1943)

Sir John Anderson (Lord President of the Council) announced in the House of Commons on February 16th, 1943, that the Government had accepted the principle of State paid non-contributory children’s allowances. This announcement arose from the consideration of the comprehensive plan for a reform of the social services presented in the Report of Sir William Beveridge, who has been a firm supporter of Family Allowances for a number of years. The Government’s statement follows fairly closely on the decision of the Trades Union Congress to accept a recommendation of their General Council along the same lines, although it should be observed that a similar recommendation was rejected by the Trades Union Congress at Nottingham 1930.


Editorial: Welfare cuts - the government's austerity programme

Many people are worried about the welfare state--and so they should be. The Labour government, like so many governments around the world, is attempting to cut back on social spending because the capitalist class can no longer afford to pay for it at its previous levels. In times of economic difficulty welfare spending is always the first element of state expenditure for governments to look to cut back. For the last two decades in particular governments across much of the industrialised world have been trying to cut back social spending--indeed, this was a project of the Tories in Britain when they were elected in 1979.

Voice From the Back

Suicides rise as yen falls
As the Japanese economy enters recession with record unemployment since the war, the Japanese National Police Agency reports that suicides related to economic failure leaped by 18 percent last year."Among the 3,556 who took their lives were three business partners who committed suicide together in a Tokyo hotel because of debt" Guardian, 13 June.

Controlling lives
Workfare, and welfare reform in general, offer a way to "break the culture of poverty and dependence" as Bill Clinton said during the 1992 presidential campaign. The idea is not merely to give those on welfare the dignity of earning their way.The hope is that once work is required, those not on welfare will avoid making the decisions - like having children out of wedlock - that might put them on welfare. New York Times, 5 May.

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